Outlander: Savages

An unsuccessful trip to town for Jamie. An unpleasant time at home for Claire.

While Claire was visiting the Muellers and delivering Petronella's baby, she almost literally defused the situation when Gerhard Mueller overreacted to passer-by Cherokee watering their horses at the creek. Later, a combination of prejudice, superstition and religious intolerance made Mueller blame the Indians for the measles that killed his family. "They are supposed to die of the pox, not us! Not the ones who believe in God!"

Who are the savages in this episode? Yes, Mueller of course, but the situation wasn't entirely black and white. Mueller started the conflict and killed the blameless Adawehi, but he was insane with grief for his family and thought he was doing the right thing to break the "curse" the Cherokee laid on them. When he stopped by to visit Claire, I thought he would harm her, but he had just come to make certain she was okay. Unfortunately, he also gave her a gruesome gift he thought she would want: Adawehi's hair and accoutrements.

Alone in the woods while Jamie and Ian were away, Claire coped well with this extended tragic situation by staying busy and keeping Rollo and a rifle by her side, but it was still nearly too much for her; she broke down when Jamie finally came home. And things in town didn't go well, either. Jamie and Ian found zero tenants for Fraser's Ridge because these days, dishonest tax collectors hound people off their farms and no one wanted to take the risk. That taxation without representation thing might not work out too well for the Crown in the long run, though. You think?



The best part of this tragic episode was a lovely surprise: Murtagh! A white-haired, distinguished looking but still super-cranky Murtagh. I loved every moment of the reveal at the smithy, and Ian goggling at Jamie and Murtagh as they wept in each other's arms. Not to mention the lovely tavern scene where Jamie got Ian out of the way and confided in Murtagh that Claire had returned to him after twenty years, and that they had a daughter. I also loved Murtagh's Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy reunion with Claire, later in the episode.

As a series fan who is also a book fan, I should weigh in on the Murtagh situation. In the books, Murtagh died at Culloden, but the series producers really loved Duncan Lacroix's work and decided to keep Murtagh alive. It's a major change and I understand the viewpoint of book purists, but a series just isn't the same thing and I'm definitely a Murtagh fan. And here, Murtagh was also set up as a leader of the Regulators. The contract Jamie signed with Governor Tryon included Jamie possibly being forced to quell what Murtagh is doing. There is no doubt where Jamie's personal loyalties lie – Murtagh is the closest thing Jamie has to a father – but this could make for some interesting future conflict.



In the lovely opening scene by the stream, Claire and Adawehi were talking about herbs and exchanging words in each other's languages – notably, "rabbit." There has been so much rabbit-as-rebirth symbolism in this series, often concerning Brianna. Adawehi told Claire that Brianna was "here," and Claire thought Adawehi meant that Brianna was in her heart.

But no, Brianna really is "here." The coda of the episode was Inverness, 1971, as Brianna took a one-way taxi trip to Craigh na Dun and through the stones. How will Brianna get across the ocean to North Carolina? And will Roger and his new pom-pom stocking cap go after her?

Bits:

— The title vignette was a shopkeeper wrapping Gerhard Mueller's doll, a gift for his new grandchild. The last shot of the Mueller cabin was the doll burning.

— It's 1768 in North Carolina but 1971 in Inverness, so I am assuming the action in both time periods didn't run in parallel.

— Rollo stayed behind with Claire while Jamie and Ian went to town. Speaking of animal characters, was the white pig that savaged Jamie's hat the infamous white sow? She becomes a rather notorious character in the books.



— Miss Baird told Roger to find himself a "good Scottish lass." Of course, Brianna is half Scottish.

— There were two very cute scenes at the silversmith's where the woman answering the door came on to Jamie. He was very polite about rejecting her. How often do strange women come on to Jamie? Logically, wouldn't that be rather often?

— It's much better symmetry for Murtagh to make that ring for Claire, anyway. Especially since he'll be using Ellen's silver candlestick.

— Duncan LaCroix's credit was at the end of the episode so that his appearance would be a surprise. They did that with the Ardsmuir episode, too.

Quotes:

Adawehi: "You have children?"
Claire: "Yes. I have a daughter. She lives far, far away."
Adawehi: "She is here."

Jamie: "Does Brianna have a birthmark on her neck?"
Claire: "Yes, she does, but I don't remember mentioning it to you."
Jamie: "I saw it in a dream last night. A wee brown mark shaped like a diamond. It's behind her left ear."
Claire: "I haven't thought about that in a very long time. It's always hidden…"
Jamie and Claire: (together) "…behind her hair."
Jamie: "I kissed her there."

(This is an awww moment, but also a bit eerie.)

Miss Baird: "Reminded me a bit of Ali MacGraw. Sweet girl."
That would have been right after the massively popular movie Love Story came out.

Woman at the silversmith's: "If you'd care to wait inside, I'll serve you a hearty piece of pie."
Jamie: "A very kind offer, but my wife is expecting me home soon."
Woman at the silversmith's: "I'd wager she's a good cook."
Jamie: "Aye. Very."
Obviously, they were not talking about pie.

Jamie: "Claire came back to me. After twenty years. Some days I still can't believe it myself."
I loved Murtagh pounding the table at that news.

Claire: "Is it really you?"
Murtagh: "Well, it's not the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy."
It's been twenty-five years since they parted at Culloden. Wow.

Well, let's see. I really hated the Mueller story and the death of Adawehi, even though it was poignant and well done. Loved the reunion with Murtagh. Two and a half taxi rides to Craigh na Dun,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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